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... not that you'll ever get the other one from Ms.Dodge!MD: "Bollards blocking entrances to LTNs in Oxford were padlocked shut."(From the Oxford Mail, 19 October 2022)Oxford residents become LTN ‘human bollards’People have come together to act as ‘human bollards’ after several of the physical barriers in Oxford’s Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) were destroyed by opponents.A video posted by pro-LTN pressure group Oxfordshire Liveable Streets shows a group of people standing in the road to prevent cars passing through an LTN traffic filter, where a bollard had been removed. The group tweeted: “WATCH: ordinary residents in #Oxford are now acting as 'human bollards' to protect cyclists, pedestrians and children from drivers who flout the rules, and vandals who have destroyed the physical bollards. Extraordinary, really.” The community action to prevent vehicles passing through the filters comes following months of direct action against the traffic measures.  Anti-LTN activists have ripped out, bent and even set the bollards on fire, as well as graffitied and damaged the planters.This antisocial behaviour has cost Oxfordshire County Council thousands of pounds to repair and replace them. Yesterday (October 19), police were called to Divinity Road at around 5pm.Thames Valley Police told this newspaper a driver attempted to get through the LTNs and a number of people stood in the road to prevent this.Officers attended the scene and educated the driver. https://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/23061470.oxford-residents-become-ltn-human-bollards/Note that the police didnt actually give the offending driver a ticket, but "educated him" instead.Yet Ms. Dodge would have you believe it is only cyclists who get let off by the police.

Richard Cathcart ● 91d

Michael Robinson has highlighted one sentence from the report in The Times. "the figures do not prove a link between LTNs and more miles being driven".I also read this report and my conclusion was that this was balanced reporting by a responsible journalist. I did not conclude that this was proof positive that there was no link between LTNS and more miles being driven.As those who have studied statistics will have had hammered into them "correlation does not prove causation". In my first year at University I remember a highly esteemed Sociology professor telling us that when a new police station is built (are those were the days!) the level of reported crime goes up. This does not mean, said the professor, that police stations cause crime. It could of course simply mean that the victims of crime now had a place where they could report a crime. But as the necessary research had not been done we could not even draw that conclusion.Let us however consider a specific local case in the Grove Park LTN. The barrier at the junction of Park and Staveley Roads has meant that traffic has been diverted on to neighbouring Burlington Lane. This switch is well documented in the latest traffic movement statistics.The diversion of traffic from one wide residential road with grass verges onto to another wide residential road with grass verges has meant that the distances actually driven by real people have increased i.e. the distance from one end of Staveley Road to the other is shorter than the distance along Burlington Lane from its junction with the eastern end of Staveley Road to its junction with the western end of Staveley Road. Multiply this up by the thousands of journeys a day on this stretch of road and you must have a sizeable increase in air pollution, fuel burned and time wasted driving. There are of course other examples of where the local LTN has increased distances travelled and journey times for local residents e.g the Harvard Hill Barrier. As far as some people are concerned this is a good thing and drivers should be encouraged to use other "modes" of transport or not travel at all. To me this logic is anti-democratic and at heart driven by a meglomaniacal control freakery that is in fact quite scary. But hey, maybe thats just me? Pre-Covid the problem that residents of Staveley Road were most concerned about on their street was speeding vehicles breaking the speed limit. This was confirmed in the poorly advertised work shops held at St Pauls Grove Park by Hounslow Council. I recall no one asking for a diagonal road barrier but instead several people asked for a permanent fixed speeding camera. The Council and the Police refused to consider even a temporary speed camera because of the cost and the fact the street was not an accident black spot. Roll on a few years and we have a permanent barrier built at a cost of well over £100k of public money.In the online survey that accompanied the work shops mentioned above four people identified that Staveley Road Park Road junction as a problem. Four out of over 600 responses. The decision to build a barrier was not supported by the evidence and is total overkill.    Elsewhere on this thread I am quoted as saying that the cutting of speed monitoring cables was "mindless vandalism". I stand by that statement. I walked the roads of Chiswick Riverside and inspected the damaged cables. From memory over two thirds had quite obviously been deliberately cut. So far as I could make out the damage could not have been caused by a vehicle simply driving over the cables. There was no sign of animal teeth marks. The result of the vandalism was that Hounslow Council had even less data to make decisions on and hence what it has chosen to do is not evidence based. The vandalism helped no one. Ignorance is not bliss.It is a striking feature of the imposition of the LTN in Chiswick Riverside that its proponents did not base their ideas on any detailed local research other than the traffic monitoring. They kept on saying (and they keep on saying) that the LTN would reduce air pollution, encourage 'active travel', reduce unnecessary car journeys and have little impact on journey times.They have produced absolutely no evidence that the Grove Park LTNs have achieved these objectives. Am I being cynical in believing that they never intended to do this. Just like the building of police stations increasing reported crime there is little evidence that the reported national/regional increase in cycling is due to anything other than a response to Covid and commuters desire to avoid public transport. The increases in cycling participation have anyway been small in absolute terms although obviously welcome if some people become fitter. Accidents involving cyclists have also increased but then you would expect that if more people are cycling?There was no monitoring of air pollution in Chiswick Riverside prior to the introduction of the LTN and there are no published statitics for air pollution in the area after lock down. So how on earth can any one claim that the LTNs have reduced air pollution in the area other than than on specific streets and measured very subjectively. Does moving the assumed air pollution from Staveley Road to Burlington Lane make this a better place to live?Finally, earlier this year the council installed over a dozen diffusion tubes in the area to monitor air pollution. How data from the diffusion tubes would explain how pollution had changed since the implmentation of the LTN is anyone's guess. If you do not have a base starting point what can meassuring after the event tell you? Traffic Officers were reluctant to explain even where the tubes were sited - fear of foxes one of them said. No data from the diffusion tubes has been published by Hounslow Council. It looks suspiciously like this is just a "backside covering exercise" so that they can tell gullible councillors who do not live in the area that officers are monitoring air pollution in Chiswick Riverside.     

Sam Hearn ● 106d

I think it is BP that artwashes / sponsors the arts in the UK - they were probably an inspiration for the opioid peddling Sacklers.  The oil companies also sportswash / sponsor F1 teams - just like Big Tobacco used to do until they were banned for killing too many people - still around 8 million per year.That's more than die globally on the roads - about 1.5 million - and more than die from air pollution, that's another 6.5 million.... so around 8 million combined per year.Companies like Shell don't just have a brand image problem, they have a staff problem too.  For a values led generation like the Millennials and Z's, it is hard to take all that money and believe you are making a positive impact on the world by working for a company that is engaged in destroying it, although the money probably helps.We see a lot of people having crises of conscience around the time their kids are born and deciding to quit oil.  So sportswashing / sponsoring cycling is as much for Shell employees - they get to buy into the line that the company they work for is keeping the lights on while helping the world economy transition to carbon free energy - spending 1% of their huge war profits on some solar and wind generation plus some cycling sponsorship helps with retention.I met some lovely people from the Marketing team at Shell who told us how they were actually a force for good in the world (or at worst, a necessary but temporary evil).  I almost felt bad for them that a couple of Nigerian guys asked some pointed questions about the utter destruction of the environment from Shell's oil spills.OK - didn't feel that bad.  Was nice to see them squirm in their own bullsh*t.  I hope they woke up the next morning and quit.

Ed Saper ● 119d

I took a quick look at the documents from the 2019 consultation for the South Chiswick Liveable Neighbourhood scheme and it details the traffic data for the roads in question - data collected via traffic counters and video cameras.https://s3-eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/commonplace-customer-assets/southchiswicklnmap/South%20Chiswick%20LN%20Report%20Final.pdfThe traffic section is on page 34.  This is a map showing the traffic data:https://s3-eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/commonplace-customer-assets/southchiswicklnmap/South%20Chiswick%20Traffic%20Counts%20Map.pdfI don't think anyone is now suggesting the scheme went ahead solely based on DFT/ TFL estimates of average traffic increases on minor roads across London.I think what they are suggesting is that the original inspiration to consider the Living Neighbourhood scheme might have been down to a hunch that traffic on minor roads was increasing due to sat navs, Ubers, Amazon deliveries and increased rat running of which the original data showing large increases on minor roads might have played a part in influencing.  Equally, it might have come about from personal experience of using the roads, complaints from councillors or residents or even be religiously inspired - Jesus after all was a fan of active travel and there are strong indications that he would have supported sustainable environmental policies and was pretty much against the killing or harming of children, which might include reducing the number of kids mowed down on the pavement or on their bikes by Range Rovers or vans, and improved road safety is one of the aims of the South Chiswick Liveable Neighborhood scheme.  I suppose we could ask them where they got their inspiration from - they might remember, like that scene in the lift from Working Girl.

Ed Saper ● 121d

"I have simply quoted from the report."No you didn't. These are your words:"These false figures were then used by councils to justify the introduction of restrictions in many boroughs (inc. Hounslow/ Chiswick)."You are rewriting history, as is indeed the Sunday Telegraph article. First of all, the measures introduced in 2020 were funded by the Government on the basis of COVID, both in the short term to facilitate social distancing, and in the longer term to ensure to try to maintain the modal shift that occurred during the lockdowns. The £2bn package was announced by Grant Shapps on May 2 2020, and Hounslow immediately moved to secure funding. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/2-billion-package-to-create-new-era-for-cycling-and-walkingThere was no mention of DfT figures of an increase in minor road traffic, because those estimates did not exist at that time! The DfT revision that first gave new estimates of traffic increasing on minor roads was published in September 2020, see e.g. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/sep/25/rat-running-residential-uk-streets-satnav-appsThe DfT revisions last week still show that traffic on class C and unclassified roads increased in the last ten years. They also show that the total traffic in London on class B, C and U roads was actually in total higher than the September 2020 revision. The recent revision does suggest that satnav's played a less prominent role in directing traffic on residential streets as thought after the September 2020 revision, but still show growth nationally. In fact if you look at Chart 1 of the link below, you'll see the plot in blue of the minor road estimate at the time of the May 2020 announcement, with very little increase in minor road traffic after 2009, the 2019 revision in yellow and the latest revision in green, showing a rather larger increase in minor road traffic compared to before the first revision.So quite the opposite of what you claim, at the time of Shapp's May 2020 announcement and Hounslow's bid for funding, the figures understated the estimate of the increase in minor road traffic compared to the latest revision.www.gov.uk/government/statistics/road-traffic-estimates-in-great-britain-2021/minor-road-traffic-estimates-review-frequently-asked-questions

Tom Pike ● 127d

" They do indeed hunt in a pack. Cowardly bullies " It's pathetic the way they all seem to pile in at the least excuse, to be honest. It's a cheap shot to refer to deep seated-insecurities manifesting themselves. So I won't. More especially, as they're all being "used" themselves, if they did but know it. Which maybe some of them do possibly suspect already. Which is why they can brook no criticism whatsoever. As it might cause the whole edifice to collapse. As Mayor of London Sadiq Khan* is faced with many insuperable problems. Two of the biggest of which being congestion and pollution. Now the worst thing any politician can do, is to publicly admit they have no answers. Now in reality Sadiq Khan probably doesn't give a hoot how people travel about, fly, levitate, car, walk, PT, cycle just so long as they don't exacerbate his twin problems of congestion and pollution; and thus keep the moaners off his back. ( One must assume that Khan sees the job merely as a stepping stone into national politics) He also knows there is no real answer, even regardless of budgetary contraints, in a City which needs to keep moving 24/7. But then he latches on to a group of eccentrics "true believers". Who on no real evidence at all* sincerely believe it will be possible to persuade millions of people to get out of their cars and ride bicycles, day after day throughout the year. And save the planet into the bargain. So for politician at least, what's not to like ? Now being a cyclist myself, and along with many of my fellow cyclists no doubt I know this is a totally ludicrous idea. Its simply never going to happen. "Progress" such as it is, simply doesn't work that way. It would be a step backwards. Chiswick simply isn't going to revert back to being some sleepy Cotswolds village as much as Jeremy Vine and others might wish. *But it gets Khan off the hook*. And that's the "only" important consideration" where a politician is concerned. Because while congestion and pollution continue to get worse Khan can simply turn around to his critics and say "Well I've done all I can to pursuade people to ride bicycles instead of using their cars. I've even financed a nice cycle superhighway in Chiswick to demonstrate the potential  What more can I be expected to do ? Basically if things continue to get worse, then *it can only be all your own fault, you the voters, as you didn't get out of your cars and onto bicycles *
michael adams * Marxist Scholars, Rabbinical Scholars, Christian theologians, and Islamic Scholars have spent decades if not centuries poring over the finer details of their sacred texts. Already all totally convinced of the absolute truth  of their beliefs, but all just still seeking out those few last truths waiting to be revealed . And so it is with Tom Pike and his statistics. Totally convinced already and yet still somehow seeking that deeper truth. Well good luck with that one, is all I can say.

Michael Adams ● 128d

Maggie's original post pointing to the revision report made it clear that the raw data is not the issue, but rather how DfT were better able to estimate traffic on the majority of minor roads that don't have traffic counts. It should be mentioned that the Telegraph article is misleading: the DfT revision grouped together B road and residential street estimates for London, so it's not possible to conclude that traffic on just our residential streets has not gone up between 2009 and 2019, as the article implies. In fact for the GB as a whole, it's only the B-road traffic estimates that have been revised to see no growth - residential streets have still seen an increase in traffic over that period. It's possible London followed the national trend.Further, the DfT revisions give a higher estimate for traffic growth before 2009 on London's B roads and residential streets. In fact the revisions mean total traffic since 1993 is higher than previously thought. We have actually suffered a greater overall exposure to traffic on these roads in London over the last nearly thirty years.It's unfortunate that the underestimate of earlier traffic growth on residential streets likely meant that national government didn't give this issue the attention it deserved earlier. It also confirms that TfL and our local councils should, as they have done, base specific schemes on local traffic measurements, not national or regional trends.On a more positive side, the revised figures do show that policies in London have recently been more successful than the DfT previously estimated in reducing car use, and in line with TfL estimates. TfL had already expressed their reservations with DfT's previous estimates, so it is indeed bizarre to see misplaced attempts to smear the Mayor whose policies rested on TfL, not DfT, estimates.

Tom Pike ● 128d

Residents certainly did make representation to Riverside Ward Councillors for the Grove Park LTN. I personally attended several meetings along with other residents and accompanied one of the Councillors and his Ward Chairperson to Waltham Forest for a day's visit to observe the various measures introduced there. We had productive discussions until suddenly they got cold feet when they realised there would be outraged and very shrill local opposition, including from some of their close friends and neighbours. Prior to that they had agreed with a lot of the core principles of the scheme if not every form of its application. Then the local residents worked directly with the Council instead. Political will and courage is needed to make change happen. The cycle lane arguably has its origins in local representation from politicians. Paul Lynch, when Chair of the Chiswick Area Committee and MPs Ann and Alan Keen all pressed the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, for a review of roads and cycle lanes in Chiswick and the Borough following the tragic death of Marie Fox at the Kew Bridge junction in 2002. They lobbied for increased safety for cyclists. The radial cycle lane artery plan including the route of C9 was drafted during Ken's tenure and then picked up by Boris Johnson. Some of our current crop of local politicians are not the area's leading cycling safety historians. I would always encourage people to try to work with local politicians to change street space. Gunnersbury Ward residents who want to reduce cars on their streets could indeed follow a similar approach, engage with their local Councillors first and then if they are not interested in helping them, go to the Council direct. I personally doubt that even if local residents could get the three Councillors to make positive representation to restrict traffic (no chance) that the Council would be receptive as those three Councillors have built a reputation for being especially difficult for the Council to engage with in any constructive way. It is just expected that they will make it especially hard for the Council to do anything new for street space as a matter of principle This is not true of the Councillors from the other Wards. It's not about politics. I would expect the Council to now spend their time and scarce funding to the west of the Borough unless a sizeable group of residents really push them very hard. Jack Emsley of Homefields Ward has taken up the cause of pedestrian crossings and improved safety for cyclists at the Hartington Road and A316 junction with the local AM Nick Rogers and I sincerely wish him a lot of luck in lobbying TfL for that to happen as it is desperately needed.

Paul Campbell ● 128d